Nontraditional Career Paths

Deb Hunt- Candidate, President-Elect
Question #1 What sort of advice would you give to professionals in their first library-related position who might be interested in nontraditional career paths?

Due to the accelerating changing information landscape, I would counsel new professionals to continue learning and expanding their skillset so they are ready to move into career paths that are outside more traditional library jobs. This is not a split from library careers, but rather an expansion into related fields that utilize and build upon library skills and competencies.  Some competencies are timeless, such as interpersonal and communication skills. Some skills require us to continue learning as technology continues to change. Careers in document management, enterprise content management, digital asset management and KM/KS are just a sampling of the many opportunities out there where there is money and jobs to be had.

SLA provides a rich resource of many member benefits at the unit level and association-wide. Take advantage of information resources such as Information Outlook, SLA webinars, Click U and 23 Things. Choose one or two areas for expanding your knowledge base outside our profession and read journals, blogs, and other social media resources. Better yet, blog and tweet about what you are passionate about. Participate in LinkedIn groups, both by posting questions and answering the questions of others. Publish and present – you’ll get to know your topics very well and others will get to know you and your skills.

SLA allows for an instant network of colleagues who share our passion for our profession and provide us with collegiality, feedback and even job referrals.

Last, but not least, be flexible and willing to change and make continuing professional development a priority.  A positive outlook is also needed.


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